University of Kansas Medical Center, The University of Kansas Hospital, The University of Kansas Physicians, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics announce plans to work toward integrated pediatric program

December 03, 2012

By KUMC News

Kansas City, Mo. — Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, The University of Kansas Hospital, the University of Kansas Medical Center, and The University of Kansas Physicians, leading medical institutions in Kansas and Missouri, today announced plans to develop a single, integrated pediatric program. The goals of the integrated program are to enhance clinical care for children, advance pediatric academic development, expand pediatric research initiatives, and coordinate advocacy activities for children's health.

"We all have the same goal — to provide the best care for our pediatric patients and their families," said Michael Artman, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital and UMKC School of Medicine. "By centralizing physician leadership and integrating best practices and resources, we believe we can achieve that goal better and more quickly."

Dr. Artman will lead the new integrated pediatric program. Chet Johnson, M.D., Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, will direct the effort at the medical center.

"The University of Kansas Hospital will continue to be a provider of pediatric medical services. The hospital will continue to serve the children of Wyandotte County and the surrounding area. The path we are announcing today will strengthen the services we offer our patients and allow our specialists to serve even more children," said Bob Page, President and Chief Executive Officer of The University of Kansas Hospital.

"This collaboration makes so much sense," said Randall O'Donnell, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children's Mercy. "Aligning our collective pediatric expertise and resources will ensure our area's children are getting the highest quality care today and for the future."

"Our goal is to assure and enhance quality, improve access and provide value for pediatric medical care, while providing a world-class environment for the University of Kansas Medical Center's academic program for pediatric medicine," said Steven Stites, M.D., Acting Executive Vice Chancellor of the Medical Center.

Children's Mercy and The University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center already have many existing collaborations, including pediatric medical education and training, clinical trials, and pediatric research. Children's Mercy was the medical center's pediatric oncology partner for its recent successful pursuit of National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Also, the institutions work together on a number of joint research projects including those in cancer biology, clinical and translational research, neuroscience, health disparities, pediatric liver disease, and drug discovery and development.

"We are excited to build on and enhance these great partnerships already in place, while working together to improve the health and well-being of the children in our area," said Dr. Johnson, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The new integrated pediatric program does not affect Children's Mercy's proud, long-standing academic affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Children's Mercy will continue its academic partnership with UMKC and training its pediatric medical students.

Children's Mercy and The University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center are in the early stages of finalizing the details of this new initiative. Integration teams with representation from all organizations involved are being formed now to address key issues, and the institutions will engage a nationally-recognized consultant to facilitate the process. Because of the early stage of this affiliation, there are no more details to share at this time. We look forward to providing more details at the completion of our affiliation agreement.

"Children's Mercy provides care to Kansas kids, with locations in Wyandotte County, Johnson County, Wichita and throughout the state," said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. "This is an important opportunity to make an already strong partnership in the education of Kansas physicians, nurses and other health professionals, and in the university's life-saving research even stronger.  It is in the best interest of Kansas children and their families that our medical center and primary teaching hospital work to strengthen this already productive relationship."

"This effort between The University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center and Children's Mercy is truly a win-win for all Kansans and Missourians. The cross state collaboration will benefit patients, especially kids, in our communities and all across Kansas," added Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D.

Last modified: Jan 04, 2013